Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daughter Daddy Day

Today I got to accompany Trinity's class on their trip to a historic Gaelic settlement in Iona. She was very excited I was able to take the day off work to spend time with her one on one.

This was our first stop along the trip, this was the housing in Scotland called a (Black House circa 1790) that the first Scottish settlers lived in before coming to Cape Breton. Notice the Sod Roof and stone walls. I can only imagine the cramped feeling a family would have in this home, you would certainly have to get along.

This is the inside, notice the wooden structure on the back wall, those are called the sleeping boxes, you would crawl in them and close up the door to keep the smoke smell out. The black chain hanging down was a fire pit that would basically burn all day, they would heat and cook their home off this. Behind us was what I would call a animal pen that would have been used to keep your animals if the weather was extream or you were fighting with your neighbors. Circa 1780

This was the 2nd stop on our journey, this was the log cabin(circa 1810) built by the first settlers. I can only imagine the feeling they would have after weeks on a boat arriving on the coast to a full forest and no shelter.

This was the inside, as you can see they have learned to build a more advanced heating system with a flu to evacuate the smoke. We got to see all kinds of neat things in here from the wheat grinding wheel and the loom to make material out of wool.

This was our next house and I missed the outside shot, but this was an original house from approximately 1829. The house was called a "Center Chimney Home" as the fireplace was directly in the middle of the home. In the winter they would shut up areas of the house and centralize in the kitchen and bedroom that was directly above it. There were holes in the floor to allow heat to rise up to the bedroom above.

Here was the animal area, there was one pig, a pen of chickens and a flock of 8 sheep, the sheep must have been camera shy because when I got up to take a picture of them they took off and jumped over their stone wall fence and took off down the walking path.

This is the class, it was broken into 3 groups, my group is on the end 3 girls and 2 boys.

Here we were into the home from 1865 this was becoming more advanced and had a stove instead of a fireplace. This type of home was called a "Centre Hallway House" , it was originally built in Troy, near Port Hastings and was brought to the Museum and restored. It also started to have some fancy dishes and other more modern things.

The outside of the Centre Hallway House

This school house, opened in 1917 and closed in 1966 the Portage School House was used to hold all the students from a local area in one classroom with one teacher.

The kids fit right in for their lesson of the day, we were taught about the teachers that worked these early school. They were all young women that were not allowed to date or be married. They had to live with their parents and were not allowed to be out at night after 8pm. They had to arrive at the school house around 5 in the morning to be sure the fire was started and wood was available for the day. We also learned that neither the students nor teacher could speak any Galic in the School and had to speak only in English.

This Huge Church (Mhalagawatch Church circa 1874) was actually moved from the Bras d'Or Lakes in 2003, they had a photo album inside that showed the process they took to move the church in, it was really cool to see the move.

This next building was the hit of the trip, the General Store. This is the store that the kids would go to for things that mom needed to make meals. It was also the beginning of trade as the communities began importing items from other areas. There was also an area that had catalogues that people could order from. The store had treats, traditional "Rock Candy" which many kids were buying, I don't think they were priced to time as $1 a stick might be a bit rich for the 1920's. It was really good and we bought a stick for everyone back home.

Here the kids are enjoying their rock candy sticks while watching the blacksmith at work.

It was incredible watching the Blacksmith work, here he was making nails, think about it each nail they used the Blacksmith would have to take the time to make one at a time. It took him a couple of minutes to make 1 nail. He also showed us how to twist metal to make a decorative rod.

The girls were starting to get a little tired, good thing it was almost time to head out.

On the way home we remembered although we had a great time we didn't get any pictures of us together. We smiled pretty for this one as Trinity talked about me going to her field trip next year too.

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